Love cannot be a sacrifice
Sep 16, 2023
The belief has long been established that love is made up of commitments, pacts that we establish with the person we love in order to give stability to the relationship. This is normal and healthy; After all, if we care about someone, the natural thing is that we give them guarantees that the emotional bond exists and we take it seriously. Loving in words is very easy, and what matters are the actions.
However, not everyone is successful in defining the nature of the commitment that should exist in their relationship. In some cases, the purpose that this type of agreement should have is confused, and instead of being a means through which to consolidate the relationship, it becomes its objective, which gives it meaning. That is to say: becomes a constant demonstration of sacrifices and the degree to which we are willing to suffer for the person we love.
This belief, which seems absurd when explained this way, is more common than we think. In fact, it is the pillar on which the traditional conception of romantic love is built. How do we recognize those moments in which we confuse reasonable sacrifices with the simple intention of beating ourselves up?
- Related article: "The 4 types of love: what different kinds of love exist?"
love and sacrifices
Let's say it now: falling in love doesn't come free. From the beginning it opens the possibility that we will suffer a lot for the other person, even before this feeling is reciprocated (and even when it will not be reciprocated).
When the love relationship is consolidated, the possibility of going through bad times is still very close: everything that has to do with staying away from that person for a long time, or seeing them have a bad time, is something that produces a clear discomfort. Furthermore, for coexistence to occur between the two lovers, it is also necessary to give up on many things.
Perhaps for that reason, because loving relationships are not characterized by being comfortable but by being intense, some people decide, unconsciously, adding even more intensity to them through suffering, which is the easiest way we have to make ourselves feel something.
And it is that mixing that minimum of discomfort that relationships produce with the possibility of add enormous amounts of self-made discomfort expressly it is a way to make, apparently, that love story something more significant, more justified.
Of course, this tendency to make love synonymous with sacrifice is totally toxic, although when experienced firsthand it is difficult to see it. Unfortunately, this logic fits very well with old ideas about marriage, so it often passes as indecent because we assume it is normal. Why is this happening?
- You may be interested: "Emotional dependence: pathological addiction to your romantic partner"
The origins of sacrifice: the family
In psychology there are very few things that are not related to context, and love is no exception. Love is not something that simply arises in our brain when we see another person: it is a consequence of the way in which various Generations that have lived before us have learned to manage those intense emotional ties that arise from the infatuation And, for the majority of inhabitants, this way of managing that emotion it has to do with marriage: a way of managing resources and organizing people with a small community in mind.
In practice, love had to be experienced in a way that went hand in hand with the mentality necessary to maintain the family, and this has to do with personal sacrifice. Until very recently, resources were scarce, so anything that could be done for the well-being of others was justified and welcomed. The strange thing was not give up everything in favor of the family, but to live as autonomous and free people.
When two things always occur at the same time, they usually end up being indistinguishable, and this is what happened with love and sacrifices. If we add to this that the predominant machismo turned the woman into a property of the husband, so that he had to look after her and this He had to do everything the lord of the house wanted, the result did not surprise anyone: the normalization of dependency relationships. emotional. After all, in most cases our emotions accompany our actions, and the same goes for the need to constantly sacrifice for others.
Common efforts, not punishments
The patriarchal model of coexistence has long been the target of all kinds of criticism, and for the first time it is possible to live without needing to depend on the family unit. There is no longer an excuse to live love as autonomous and self-sufficient people, which implies making sacrifices go from being the driving force of emotional relationships to a consequence of the adoption of reasonable compromises, with a pragmatic sense. The opposite would be falling into the trap of dependency.